CCFG Cymru held a very successful field meeting at Coed Bryn Arau Duon in Wales attended by over 20 people from all over Britain. Phil Morgan and Huw Denman have managed the forest for 10 years and have gradually changed the even-aged plantation into a stable forest with developing irregular stands. By concentrating their efforts on continuous quality improvement to the infrastructure and to the growing stock they have shown that transformation is an economically viable option which will lead to increasing benefits as the forest matures. Very useful and constructive discussion took place; some devil’s advocates provided a contrast between toilet-paper plantations, to satisfy large scale markets, and quality woodlands managed for integrated multiple benefits. The rationale for cost effective support for transformation from public funds was demonstrated through the work to the forest during the course of the visit. The meeting was attended by woodland owners, managers, timber buyers, students, The Woodland Trust, The Forestry Commission in Wales and Forest Research.
CCFG held a very successful conference attended by over 40 delegates who were presented with valuable information about the properties of light and how light interacts with the other factors affecting the growth of trees; new modelling and surveying techniques point the way ahead with the use of modern technology. The field demonstrations provided a clear demonstration of the variability of light conditions under changing skies due to weather patterns and seasonality and how variation can be contrived and manipulated within different stand structures in forest conditions. The summing-up and conclusions provided the opportunity to identify the need and direction for further research. Phil Morgan, chairman of CCFG said: Science provides us with the necessary arguments to support our assertions that continuous cover forestry is an effective means of managing woodlands in Britain; putting science into practice is our challenge for the future. CCFG gratefully acknowledge the help of Woodland Heritage in supporting the event.
The chairman of CCFG, Philippe Morgan, attended the Pro Silva Europe conference in Logarska Dolina, Slovenia, along with Rik Pakenham and Jim Ralph, held in commemoration of the signing of the declaration of Robanov Kot 20 years ago, marking the founding of the organisation that promotes greater understanding of Close to Nature forest management in Europe. Pro Silva now has 24 national member organisations adhering to the group; Rodney Helliwell is one of the original signatories to the declaration and CCFG one of the original national groups. CCFG gratefully acknowledge the help of Woodland Heritage in attending this important event.
Despite torrential rain the Scottish visit to Glenmore was very well attended, and provoked much interest in the issues of converting older stands of Scots Pine to CCF, and managing a Forest Park to satisfy the conflicting demands of commercial use, biodiversity and recreation.